The Traditional Gift for Someone You Don’t Quite Love

I’ve long suspected traditions that compel one to purchase flowers…

For example, in second grade, we were taught about one Anna Jarvis, whose dear Mom cared for wounded soldiers during the Civil War, taught Sunday School — and inspired her devoted daughter to campaign tirelessly for a new national holiday to be called…

Mother’s Day!

As I recall, in the sort of detail that second-grade lessons burn into your brain, Congress passed Anna Jarvis’ Mother’s Day bill and President Woodrow Wilson ceremoniously signed it into law, in the year 1914.

These facts are indisputable.

But did you know that, just six years later, this same Anna Jarvis was campaigning for sons and husbands NOT to buy flowers on Mother’s Day? In fact, in the year 1920, Anna Jarvis actually wrote a press release, describing hundreds of perfectly nice and well-intentioned American florists as:

  • Charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations.” 

She then walked for countless miles, ringing doorbells, soliciting signatures and sending petitions back to Congress, to kill Mother’s Day—and, for the rest of her life, she would try and fail to conjure this genie back into the jug.

Please understand, I have only the greatest respect for gifted florists…

I send flowers on Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and other occasions too! But I do so out of love and not tradition.

And if YOU are compelled by tradition to send flowers to someone you don’t love…

Let me suggest an elaborate arrangement featuring…

Lavender Orchids

Why? Because these flowers traditionally represent admiration, respect, deference and other emotions short of love.

In Japan and other nations, they are one of the “four noble flowers” reserved for royalty. They are ideal gifts to show someone important to you that you respect them — with no connotation of love.

Of course, if your true love adores lavender orchids, it’s perfectly okay to send these same flowers, preferably along with a card that conveys your message of love.

But if a boss, a pestering in-law or somebody else must have a gift —now you know exactly what to give.

Shop the ArthurPix® Store for prints, wall-hangings, coffee mugs and other cool keepsakes featuring this original photograph.

Second in a collection of 2 photographs. Lavender orchids perfectly tread the tightrope between actual love and dutiful respect.

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